Oscars committee chairperson defends selection of Barfi!


By Hindustan Times

It’s a tough time for the Oscars selection committee in India. Barfi!, India’s official entry to the Oscars has faced criticism for being inspired by various films. Manju Borah, chairperson of Oscars committee, India, clarifies.

Barfi! is facing a lot of flak...
Had we selected any other film, we would have got the same response. I’m not bothered. Watching 20 films back to back, then choosing the best, is a tough job. There’s no vested interest. We don’t care who the maker is or who the star is. It’s the product that matters. Barfi!, we genuinely believe, is worthy.

But it’s apparently copied from various films including Chaplin’s.
The maker didn’t conceal that from the audience. In the beginning, it says it’s inspired by Chaplin. Ranbir’s mannerism is Chaplinesque. But what you take away is purely Barfi!. We selected Barfi! because of its treatment and freshness. It leaves you happy and hopeful. There’s no moment of sorrow. And every Oscar movie is about hope and happiness. In any case, every filmmaker is inspired by some cinema or some filmmaker.

What was the selection process?
As per the Oscars committee rules, the 11-member jury has to comprise people associated with films, like a director, technicians etc. We all watch 20 Indian films in different languages. Barfi! didn’t get all 11 votes. But it was chosen by the majority. There were three films in the final round and to get the majority, we did a three-round dissection and selection.

Which were the other films in the running?
I cannot reveal that, but everyone knows that Kahaani, Heroine and Gangs Of Wasseypur were the contenders from the Hindi section. We had some brilliant films from the regional sections. But there can be only one winner.